# Tagged Questions

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### What is the difference between implicit and explicit time dependence e.g. $\frac{\partial \rho}{\partial t}$ and $\frac{d \rho} {dt}$?

What is the difference between implicit and explicit time dependence e.g. $\frac{\partial \rho}{\partial t}$ and $\frac{d \rho} {dt}$? I know one is a partial derivative and the other is a total ...
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### Symbols of derivatives

What is the exact use of the symbols $\partial$, $\delta$ and $\mathrm{d}$ in derivatives in physics? How are they different and when are they used? It would be nice to get that settled once and for ...
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### Lagrangian Mechanics - Commutativity Rule $\frac{d}{dt}\delta q=\delta \frac{dq}{dt}$

I am reading about Lagrangian mechanics. At some point the difference between the temporal derivative of a variation and variation of the temporal derivative is discussed. The fact that the two are ...
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### Difference between $\Delta$, $d$ and $\delta$

I have read the thread regarding 'the difference between the operators between $\delta$ and $d$', but it does not answer my question. I am confused about the notation for change in Physics. In ...
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### Physical intuition for higher order derivatives

Could somebody give me an intuitive physical interpretation of higher order derivatives (from 2 and so on), that is not related to position - velocity - acceleration - jerk - etc?
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### Laplace operator's interpretation

What is your interpretation of Laplace operator? When evaluating Laplacian of some scalar field at a given point one can get a value. What does this value tell us about the field or it's behaviour in ...
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### Derivative of the product of operators and Derivative of exponential

I'm asked to show that $$\frac{d(\hat{A}\hat{B})}{d\lambda} ~=~ \frac{d\hat{A}}{d\lambda}\hat{B} + \hat{A}\frac{d\hat{b}}{d\lambda}$$ With $\lambda$ a continuous parameter. Should I use the ...
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### Derive vector gradient in spherical coordinates from first principles

Trying to understand where the $\frac{1}{r sin(\theta)}$ and $1/r$ bits come in the definition of gradient. I've derived the spherical unit vectors but now I don't understand how to transform ...
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### Physical meaning of harmonic function?

In complex numbers, we define a harmonic function as a twice continuously differentiable function such that the Laplace operator acting on it gives zero. Can anybody explain me the physical ...
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### Partial derivatives vs total derivatives in thermodynamics

The specific heat of a system is defined as $$C_z = T \left( \frac{\partial S}{\partial T} \right)_{z=\text{const}}$$ Sometimes however, I find the same definition, but with total derivatives ...
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### What is a covariant derivative in gauge theory?

I've been studying electroweak theory and you need to keep the Lagrangian covariant by introducing covariant derivatives. What is a covariant derivative? And what does it mean to keep the Lagrangian ...
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### Why do derivatives act on vector fields on a worldsheet?

The covariant derivative of a vector $A^{\mu}$ at a point $x$ is defined as $$D_z A^{\mu}=\partial_zA^{\mu}+\Gamma^{\mu}_{\rho\sigma}(x)\partial_{z}x^{\rho}A^{\sigma}$$ where Greek symbols are ...
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### Poincare invariant Lagrangians

The Lagrangian density of a Poincare invariant theory should not depend explicitly on the space-time coordinates. Does this mean $$\partial_\mu \mathcal{L}=0~?$$ If this is the case doesn't the ...
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### Time derivative of angular velocity in rotating reference frame

I am going through a section in a textbook regarding the Newton Euler equations for a system of rigid bodies (robotics text). There is a particular line in the derivation I don't understand, I've ...